In his latest column for Sportsnet, NHL analyst Rory Boylen breaks down all of the offseason trade chatter and throws out nearly a dozen different trade scenarios across the league. Yeah, we’ve all hear the Erik Karlsson and John Tavares rumors… but with blockbuster trades of that magnitude are few and far between. What hockey fans are much more likely to see this offseason is some tweaking by NHL general managers, as they look to build a contender or, in the case of the newly hired Paul Fenton of the Minnesota Wild, get their team over the playoff hump.
Fenton was officially hired by the Wild earlier this week, following a 20 year career in the Nashville Predators front office. Fenton replaces former Wild GM Chuck Fletcher whose contract was not renewed after eight seasons with the club. It’s expected that Fenton will make changes to his team’s roster this season and Boylen believes that four big name players will be in play on the trade market: forwards Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle, as well as defensemen Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba.
Although Parise and Suter are unmovable based on their matching 13-year, $98 million contracts, guys like Coyle and Niederrieter might have finally worn out their welcome after following up disappointing regular seasons with scoreless postseasons.
There's no denying the fact that both Coyle and Niederreiter both disappointed in 2017-18, but at just 26 and 24 years of age are these really the type of players that the Wild need to be putting up for trade? There's reason to believe that if they can both remain healthy in 2018-19 that they'll rebound with better numbers next season.
It’s also worth noting that both Brodin and Dumba were hot commodities last offseason prior to the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and it was confirmed by Fletcher that the team received “quality trade offers” for both players. With Fenton now in charge, will the team circle back on those offers?
One thing’s for sure, players like Niederreiter, Coyle, Brodin and Dumba will generate serious interest on the trade market. Whether or not we see a deal with any of these players remains to be seen, but expect things to heat up in anticipation of Fenton’s first move as the new boss in Minnesota.